Vermont Legislature Lets it All Hang Out -- Wet Laundry, That is | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

News + Opinion » News

Vermont Legislature Lets it All Hang Out -- Wet Laundry, That is

by

comment

Governor Jim Douglas didn’t get his panties in a bunch over this line item — a new law that guarantees Vermonters the right to dangle their damp drawers outdoors so that Mother Nature can do her thing.

As improbable as it sounds, until last week municipalities and homeowner associations could outlaw the age-old practice of hanging wet laundry outside to dry. But S.18, which was signed into law last week and took effect today, now prevents anyone from banning “solar collectors, clotheslines or other energy devices based on renewable resources.” It’s this generation’s “sunshine laws.”

The bill didn’t generate much static in the legislature, largely due to the efforts of Vermont Country Store proprietor Lyman Orton, a longtime “right to dry” advocate who helped push the bill. Orton’s interests weren’t just financial — the Vermont Country Store sells clotheslines, clothes pins and drying racks — but also environmental: Clothes dryers account for about 15 percent of domestic energy usage in the United States, according to Project Laundry List.

Aside from the cost savings, line-drying linens and things makes them last longer, conserves energy and the environment, and reduces the risk of dryer fires, which account for about 16,000 house fires annually nationwide, PLL reports.

Of course, airing one’s dirty laundry in the legislature is still verboten.

Tags

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.